Flash Fiction: Cigarettes

He sits here with me in the darkness, smoking. God, how I used to hate smoking. I knew someday it would rob me of people I loved. Am I really so cynical these days, that I don’t even worry about that anymore? For fuck’s sake, it’s just a cigarette. For fuck’s sake, it’s not going to kill you.

DEPIRF-00049461-001He sits here with me in the darkness, smoking. And I can tell by how much his hands are shaking that the cigarette is not doing its job. He will need another, and another, before the night is over. He has been silent until now but his mind is whirring cogs in a machine. I can hear it in his breathing, in how every once in awhile, it hitches. In the darkness, I can see the outline of his head, shaking or nodding at thoughts passing through his brain.

He sits here with me in the darkness, smoking. God, how I wish I wasn’t so goddamn self righteous. That I could just let myself ask him for a goddamn cancer stick. That I could just tell him, it’s been eight years and I know, I know, I should have said it so long ago. That through all of the bullshit, I would have saved him. God knows he saved me.

He sits here with me in the darkness, smoking. He hasn’t smoked in over a year but this, oh this. She would give him hell if she knew, but I am past caring. I know him better than she does, anyhow. I always have. And we are so far gone, so far beyond. But he loves her, too. That’s the catch. That’s the real catch.

He sits here with me in the darkness, smoking. And I am terrified. And he says nothing at all, and I say nothing at all, but we have both confessed and died in the silence. And when I stand up, when I finally stand up, I tell him that I am leaving. And I ask him for a cigarette. And for the first time he looks me in the eye. He gives it to me with tremulous hands. I put it between my lips and he lights it for me, a spark in the blackness, snuffed out seconds later. We look at each other. And finally, he stands. Finally, he puts the cigarette out. Finally, he leaves. First.

I stand here in the darkness, smoking. Alone.

4 Responses to “Flash Fiction: Cigarettes”
  1. Really well written. I love the melancholy atmosphere. It’s smoky, even.

  2. Dave says:

    Love this short piece. I agree with “strugglingwriter” … well written. And the ambience created by the words blends perfectly with the pictures. Great job, Hannah.

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